Santam drives both traffic and conversions using Smart Display Campaigns

September 2018

With over 22% market share, Santam is South Africa’s leading general insurer. The company serves more than 1 million policyholders ranging from individuals to businesses and institutions through a network of 2,700 intermediaries and direct channels. With an eye on managing complexity and driving business growth, exploring automation and machine learning in digital marketing has emerged as a major business focus for Santam.

About South African National Trust and Assurance Company Limited (Santam)

Personal, commercial, agriculture and specialist insurance

Founded in 1918

Head office in Bellville, Cape Town


Drive acquisition through display advertising


Tested Smart Display Campaigns using automated bidding


Smart Display clicks converted 75% higher than manual display

Automated bidding strategy tCPA generated 22% more cost effective conversions compared to target set

Mobile cost per acquisition decreased by 31% compared to other display channels

Thanks to their partnership with iProspect, Santam had already found success in using automation in their search marketing campaigns, so they saw utilising the power of machine learning in their display efforts as the logical next step.

Once the decision to test Smart Display Campaigns had been made, iProspect implemented and optimised the campaign assets according to best practise guidelines. They then compared the performance of Smart Display against traditional Google Display Network campaigns using manual bidding.

“Earlier this year, Smart Display was added to our direct response marketing and we’re looking forward to seeing even more great results from this channel in the future.”

– Wesley Cloete, Group Digital Marketing Manager, Santam

Smart Display clicks converted 75% higher on average than manual display, and the automated bidding strategy tCPA generated conversions that were 22% more cost effective than the target.

Mobile leads were generated at a 31% lower cost per acquisition compared to other mobile display sources. “This is an important factor to consider when we look at how mobile is outgrowing desktop and tablet usage year on year”, says Freddy Hornsby, PPC Account Manager, iProspect. “Using a solution that can learn across devices and generate leads at a cost effective rate is an extremely valuable asset in our marketing arsenal.”

Display now forms a powerful role in Santam’s direct response strategy. “Our direct performance had been very reliant on the same channels and Smart Display gave us an opportunity to drive acquisition through display advertising. Previous display campaigns had performed well from an awareness perspective, but weren't as effective for acquisition. Smart Display has allowed us to drive both traffic and conversions through this new channel.”  

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